Approaches to Integrate Various Technologies for Policy Modeling

Approaches to Integrate Various Technologies for Policy Modeling

Nikolaus Rumm (Cellent AG, Austria), Bernhard Ortner (Cellent AG, Austria) and Herbert Löw (Cellent AG, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6236-0.ch014
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The purpose of this chapter is to outline various aspects of the technical design and architecture of an ICT system that is capable of handling the requirements that are typical for the policy-modeling domain. The authors provide an overview of the relevant technologies for each step of the FUPOL policy modeling lifecycle, the standards that they build upon, and how to integrate them into a coherent system. As FUPOL is currently the only existing system that is capable of covering the full policy modeling process, the authors illustrate the practical application of these architectural and technical concepts with examples taken from the FUPOL system.
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An ICT system support for the Policy Lifecycle Modeling is complex as the process itself, as we see it in most political organizations, is not a process at all, but more a sequence of ad hoc decisions that are not always grounded on research and data. While there are good models available that describe how it should be done in reality political decision making is heavily influenced by other organizations (parties, lobbies, pressure groups), media and other stakeholders. Thus a system that provides real value to decision makers must focus on flexibility and not try to impose a strict workflow that would limit the modus operandi. On the other hand changes in media technology (social networks, blogs, micro-blogging, mobile computing, …) and media use (public private communication) provide opportunities for policy modeling that go far beyond the possibilities of the past if it is done well. Applying advanced ICT technology to as many stages of the policy modeling process as possible deliver an integrated view of the process and support decision making with data that is collected and analyzed in real time and with low latency. Using these techniques can add transparency to the process and lead to more informed decisions based on knowledge, data analysis and simulation results.

FUPOL is currently the only ICT system that supports the full policy making lifecycle and we’ll refer to details of its implementation throughout the following chapters.

This chapter’s objectives are as follows:

  • Provide an overview of the system’s scope – how is an ICT system for policy modeling embedded in the business domain and who are its users?

  • Describe the core requirements for such a system – both on functional and non-functional level.

  • Describe the building blocks of such a system with a focus on FUPOL’s system design.

  • Discuss various approaches to solve the integration challenge including technologies and architectural patterns.


The Scope Of The Ict System

The FUPOL policy modeling lifecycle adds an additional stage called ‘decision making’ between the Macintosh’s “policy creation” and “policy implementation” stages:

  • 1.

    Agenda Setting: Identify and validate the policy problem (set the political purpose - what needs to be solved).

  • 2.

    Analysis: Identify the challenges, opportunities and solution approaches.

  • 3.

    Policy Formulation and Policy Creation: Draft proposals for ratification based on policy options.

  • 4.

    Decision Making: Select one of the viable alternatives and push it to acceptance.

  • 5.

    Policy Implementation: Perform the necessary actions to turn the decision into results.

  • 6.

    Policy Monitoring and Evaluation: Measure the policy’s impact and assess the observable differences between what should be and what is (output target vs. changed reality).

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